THE worst thing about the COVID restrictions over Easter for Nora Vidler-Blanksby was she had to cancel the luncheon for 50 she was about to host in her Tregeagle home.
"I love cooking. I'm a feeder. I love making huge meals and embracing people and doing that nurturing."
"I think life is about living and having the most fun you can, and including everyone.
"It's what keeps me looking fabulous", she says letting out her signature cackle.
Nora won't reveal her age but says "let's just say I'm in my seventh decade. I'm definitely not an old codger. I don't see myself as anything actually. That's not true, I think I was a drag queen in a former life and I have come back," she says cracking herself up again.
This brings her to the project she's working on now - the production 'STAGED', to take place at The Lismore Workers Club on April 24. She can't wait to put on her 'enhancements' - which include a selection of wigs, false eyelashes, stilettos and feather boas - for her place in the 'top line performers' in the cabaret.
The Workers Club will be transformed for the event, and she says will be a huge shot in the arm for all those in the community who have been feeling isolated over the past year. 'STAGED' marks the return of Tropical Fruits, which has traditionally held a series of events for the LGBTQi community. Everyone is invited.
Apart from Tropical Fruits, for which she has been the New Year's Eve cabaret manager for many years, Nora hosts the hugely popular 'Long Lunch' segment on Richmond Valley Radio 88.9 FM each Monday.
After leaving Manly in Sydney to get into country commercial radio at 19, she went on to do voice-overs for the Channel 10 Network before moving to the region where she had a column in The Northern Star; was marketing manager at Lismore Shopping Square and, latterly, has been involved in funeral celebrancy.
Nora likes to keep her personal history private, except to say she's a vibrant single Aries woman with three names, two dogs and six chickens.
During her fifties, she raised government funding for volunteers in aged care. This led to her involvement in Seniors Week so she could bring the elderly together, 'especially the lonely and disadvantaged'.
For Nora, 'to be old and crotchety, reliant on medication and shuffling along with some frame' is 'not my style.' On the contrary, she's even toying with the idea of running for Council later in the year. "But enough about me," she says changing the subject with more laughter, "what do you think about me?"